School board looks at staff’s use of Friday early out time

    Teaching staff’s use of the early out hour on Fridays for professional development drew considerable discussion at the Jan. 9 school board meeting.
    That was only part of the agenda during a lengthy two and a half hour meeting at Chase County Schools.
    Directing his comments to 7-12 Principal Chad Scheel, Board President Jeff Olsen asked if there is a goal or plan regarding the early Friday dismissals and how that hour each week is being used.
    Scheel said he’s unsure whether there is perfect agreement among staff on use of that additional hour.
    “There’s disagreement as to what constitutes professional development,” he said.
    He said he’d be lying if he said some staff didn’t want to use that hour for extra planning time.
    He said he’d like to get to a place where staff has some choices and input on the Friday sessions, possibly to work in small groups on a specific topic of their choosing on occasion.
    “I’d like to see instead of Becky (Odens) or me dictating what we are going to work on,” to let them have some choices, he said.
    “I’m not sure I have a perfect idea for it,” Scheel added.
    Since beginning the 2:30 Friday dismissals in the 2015-16 school year, Scheel said there has been a topic chosen each Friday and everyone works specifically on that topic. However, some staff may have that topic “down,” he said, and “now we have wasted their time.”
    He suggested possibly the Friday time be used for personal growth that fits the goals the staff member wants to work on.
    He suggested possibly bringing in a speaker, even a school board member, sometimes and  assign everybody to go to that even if they may be well-versed on the topic.
    “Do we want to assign everybody to go to that, then perhaps have hard feeling toward it and set up our speakers to a hostile environment?” he asked.

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